You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bennett Miller

10 Directors to Watch

VITAL STATS
AGE: 39
BIRTHPLACE: New York
PIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”
AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor)

Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly.

It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is currently setting the kudos season on fire.

“He’s obsessed with details. Every frame of that film is informed by Bennett Miller,” says Sony Pictures Classics co-chief Michael Barker, whose company released the film. “He reminds me of Hal Ashby — he knows how to give enough leeway to the actors and their environment.”

Miller’s 1998 debut, doc “The Cruise,” showed promise, but it wasn’t until recently that he stumbled upon the material that would become his first narrative feature. It came from an unexpected source, childhood friend Dan Futterman.

Futterman’s screenplay centers on Truman Capote’s struggle to write “In Cold Blood,” and Miller quickly realized it went much deeper than a mere biopic. “This is a portrait of a very public person and his very private experience as he takes a tragic course. It’s really much more the domain of novels. For me personally, that’s something that attracts me.”

The casting of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom Miller and Futterman had met in a 1984 summer theater class, eventually got the film financed and into production. “Phil was a real partner,” says the helmer. “We were making the same movie. And though it was difficult for him and hard on him, he was no less inclined to continue and push than I was — ever.”

Once on set, things gelled creatively, too.

“There was a vision for this film,” Miller says. “When you have that, obstacles go away.”

If there were difficulties, it had more to do with Miller’s desire to get things exactly right. He remembers times “when the gears were grinding and the clock was ticking, and Phil had his face in his hands, and I’d have to ask for an 18th or 19th take … But if you know what you want, you can have the guts to do that.”

Miller, who also directs commercials, remains mum on what’s next for him. But stay tuned.

More Scene

  • AMAs Afterparty at Watt's with Niall

    Niall Horan, Chainsmokers, Rae Sremmurd Bring the AMAs After-Party to Beverly Hills

    VITAL STATS AGE: 39BIRTHPLACE: New YorkPIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor) Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is […]

  • Tig Notaro Writers Room

    Tig Notaro on Louis C.K. Scandal: Only Positive Is 'Victims Were Not Told They're Lying Anymore'

    VITAL STATS AGE: 39BIRTHPLACE: New YorkPIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor) Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is […]

  • HBO Presents-Night of Too Many Stars

    Jon Stewart, Other A-List Comics Skip Over Louis C.K. at 'Night of Too Many Stars'

    VITAL STATS AGE: 39BIRTHPLACE: New YorkPIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor) Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is […]

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    VITAL STATS AGE: 39BIRTHPLACE: New YorkPIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor) Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is […]

  • The 'Runaways' Praise Series' Diversity at

    'Marvel's Runaways' Stars Praise Series' Diversity at Hulu Premiere

    VITAL STATS AGE: 39BIRTHPLACE: New YorkPIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor) Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is […]

  • 'Molly's Game' film premiere, Arrivals, AFI

    Jessica Chastain Praises Bravery of Sexual Assault Victims at 'Molly's Game' Premiere, AFI Fest Tribute to Aaron Sorkin

    VITAL STATS AGE: 39BIRTHPLACE: New YorkPIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor) Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is […]

  • 'The Shape of Water' film premiere

    Guillermo del Toro Calls 'The Shape of Water' a New Type of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    VITAL STATS AGE: 39BIRTHPLACE: New YorkPIC INSPIRATION: “‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘The Pawnbroker,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Walkabout,’ ‘Salesman,’ to name a few.”AGENT: Dawn Saltzman (Endeavor) Miller is precise. He’s punctual, speaks carefully, and replies to emails promptly and thoroughly. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the director of “Capote,” a meticulously crafted and pensive film that is […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content